We are conditioned to defend our norms, trust in authories, not take personal responsibility, supress empathy and are motivated by greed and fear.Understanding the root cause of the problems is necessary in order to create lasting change. This understanding also instantly makes room for peace and happiness to enter our lives as it gives us the clarity to make a positive change in ourselves.
The reason for our current problems can partly be found in the way that our society is organized. We can see how a small power elite are in control of our countries and our resources and are using them in their own interests. However, this group does not carry the full responsibility for our situation, the problem is the system as a whole. Our society can not function without the cooperation and support of a large portion of the population. In other words; The power elite is heavily dependent on us to comply.
The Ruling MentalityTo be accepted by the group is one of the most important needs that we humans have. By exploiting the natural human group behavior, the fear of being excluded and the need of acceptance, we are being manipulated into complying with the current system. This manipulation creates a mentality that serves and protects the social structures and it is by looking here that we will find the root of our problems. We refer to this as the ruling mentality which is a set of behaviors that we are taught throughout our childhood, school and our working life. Most people adopt these behaviors and this is how our system is created and preserved.
To Defend our NormsOur norms shows us the behaviors that we are to comply with to be accepted as a part of the society and the ruling mentality is a part of these norms. This is why one of the most important ruling behaviors is that everyone makes a great effort to keep within the norms and that we accept harsh treatment of those who act differently. The ones who do step out of line risk exclusion, ridicule as well as loss of status and economical safety. It begins already in childhood where we can see children bullying other children that are different. Usually this can continue without interference for years as the schools do not make efforts to provide a safe environment for the children. In this way we are taught to follow and defend our norms as if our lifes depended on it.
Not to question AuthorityIn school much of the teaching consists of memorizing information given by our teachers and then being able to repeat that information which does not encourage free thinking and reasoning. To question our authorities are in many cases taken as a sign of distrust and disrespect and can be severely punished. Such behavior leads to a lack of deeper understanding as we are not supposed to question the given world view and make up our own minds. This mentality continues throughout our working life when we are expected to follow the orders of our superiors without questioning even if it goes against our own conscience.
Motivation by Greed and FearOn top of this we have a system of motivation based on desire and fear. To gain knowledge and skills or doing a good days work is often not the reward itself but instead we are motivated by getting praise from our authorities. If we do good we get high grades or the possibility to get recognition, money and status, but if we do not meet the expectations we are threatened with the possibility of being a failure or losing our livelihood.
Lack of Personal ResponsibilityWe are also taught not to take responsibility for our beliefs and actions. Many people just accept a given world view without thinking twice and they also do things that go against their own ethical values because they assume there is no other way. In the working life, people act as if they have no personal responsibility as they are only following orders. The truth is that we are always responsible for our actions and this is a key understanding to solve our situation.
In short, We are taught to comply with authorities without questioning or taking responsibility driven by reward and punishment. And those who step out of the norms will be put in their place.
Suppression of EmpathyWe can see how empathic qualities are being suppressed in favor of the ruling mentality. We are loosing our compassion and care for other people and sometimes even our own families. The ruling mentality is creating a cold and impersonal environment with little concern for the suffering that is caused by our actions. We are taught both by looking at our authorities and the media that personal gain and success is more important than caring for the needs of others.
We can also see this in the way that women are being discriminated in our societies. Women are naturally more caring for children and family, and with a more developed empathy they are reluctant to fully embrace the ruling mentality and support acts of violence. This is probably one of the main reasons why women have been excluded from the social hierarchy and have been treated as less important than men. Women and men need to rise up together and unite. We all need to combine strength and empathy to become balanced and powerful.